Change to German electoral system – is Sir Keir watching?

This week the German coalition government of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals began moves to reform the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) in what would be their country’s biggest constitutional shake-up for many years.

With electoral reform likely to be on the UK’s political agenda after the Conservatives almost certainly lose the next general election (due by January 2025 at the very latest) the choices made in Berlin are worth examining. Especially because their present government is ideologically very similar to a likely Labour-led coalition in the UK.

Germany has a hybrid system, with some MPs elected on a Westminster-style first-past-the-post system, but others elected via a top-up list so as to make the entire Bundestag represent the nationwide percentage share of the vote.

This hybrid system means that the Bundestag is not simply divided proportionally to match the parties’ share of the vote. For example, to gain proportionally-based seats, a party must poll at least 5% nationwide, or qualify for proportional top-ups if it wins at least three directly-elected seats. This happened recently with the far-left party Die Linke.

Markus Söder, leader of the Bavarian conservative party CSU, which would be the biggest loser if this week’s reforms are passed.

On the other hand, a party with a very strong regional base can end up winning more directly elected seats than a proportional carve-up would have given them. This is the case with Bavaria’s conservative party CSU. Extra seats are created to balance out such anomalies and are known as ‘overhang’ seats: these have meant that the present Bundestag is the largest ever, with 736 MPs.

This week’s proposed reform would eliminate ‘overhang’ seats, and fix the number of German MPs at 598.

At a basic level the reform is likely to be popular with voters, since it will save money and cut bureaucracy. And it’s a cunning move by the government because it will weaken the CSU. Even though CSU is the sister party of CDU, the present system of ‘overhang’ balancing takes no account of that, and gives an artificial boost to the combined CDU-CSU strength.

Reforming this would be likely to make any future conservative-led government more dependent on a deal with parties further to the right – presently AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) or whichever party succeeds AfD if it splits/declines. Unsurprisingly, the present reform is similar to a policy that the AfD itself promoted four years ago.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (above right, meeting Prime Minister Sunak) and her SNP would be the big losers if the UK adopted a system similar to that now proposed in Germany.

Here in the UK the party in a similar position to CSU (though very different ideologically) is Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party. The present electoral system gives the SNP grossly inflated importance at Westminster, relative to its share of the UK-wide vote. At the last general election SNP won 3.9% of the UK-wide vote, and 48 MPs (i.e. 7.4% of the House of Commons). The system almost doubled the SNP’s importance at Westminster, and this would be far more important in the event of no major party gaining a Commons majority, thus making Sturgeon and her allies kingmakers.

By contrast a more purely proportional system would probably give a populist/nationalist party (i.e. whatever replaces Reform UK and UKIP) more Westminster seats than the SNP. The other big winners from a change to a German-style system would almost certainly be the Greens.

Most importantly for racial nationalists, it would end the ‘wasted vote’ argument that has so far prevented many of those who sympathise with our ideas from voting for a racial nationalist party.

European nationalists celebrate Ursula Haverbeck’s 94th birthday as she faces new jail sentence

Ursula Haverbeck (above left) with her lawyer Wolfram Nahrath

Ursula Haverbeck is one of Europe’s bravest and most intelligent campaigners for historical truth and justice. In 1963 she and her late husband Werner Haverbeck founded the Collegium Humanum – an educational institute based at their home in the northern German town of Vlotho.

The Collegium provided a wide range of educational and ideological training for several generations of Germans, with speakers including the intellectual founder of the modern European environmentalist movement, Dr E.F. Schumacher.

In 1992 Ursula became active in an organisation seeking to build proper memorials for the German civilian victims of the Second World War, whether victims of the terror-bombing campaign by the Western allies, or the campaign of mass rapes, murders and expulsions by Stalin’s Red Army.

This might have been thought a simple acknowledgment of historical fact, but increasingly Ursula drew the hostile attention of German state authorities who wished to impose an authorised version of history.

Increasingly this state-imposed version of history has concentrated on criminalising any attempt to question the alleged ‘Holocaust’ of six million Jews in supposed homicidal gas chambers on the presumed orders of Adolf Hitler.

Ursula Haverbeck was greatly influenced by the German judge Wilhelm Stäglish and his pioneering book The Auschwitz Myth

Historians, scientists and even lawyers who draw attention to the serious evidential problems with the orthodox ‘Holocaust’ narrative were first demonised and driven out of their jobs, then criminalised, and increasingly subjected to long jail sentences.

Ursula herself was first fined for this invented thought-crime of ‘Holocaust denial’ – defined in Germany as Volksverhetzung, or ‘public incitement’ – in 2004.

Since then she has repeatedly been dragged into court, despite her advancing years, for the ‘crime’ of asking politely worded questions about ‘Holocaust’ history in letters to academics, politicians, and other public figures; for writing historical articles in magazines; and more recently for the ‘crime’ of answering questions in an online video interview.

Ursula Haverbeck with her fellow campaigner for historical truth, Horst Mahler, who has spent many years in German prisons for thought-crimes.

From May 2018 until November 2020 Ursula served two and a half years in prison for such ‘crimes’, and earlier this year she was sentenced to a further 12 months imprisonment.

After her appeal was turned down, Ursula was due to enter prison on October 25th but this has been delayed for procedural reasons, so she was not in fact behind bars on her 94th birthday yesterday.

H&D understands that her jailing is however imminent.

A campaign in support of Ursula Haverbeck is already beginning across Europe. To celebrate her birthday yesterday the Spanish organisation Devenir Europeo displayed a banner in Madrid honouring Ursula’s courage and indomitable intellectual fortitude. One of the campaign organisers is H&D‘s European correspondent Isabel Peralta.

A new generation of European patriots and intellectuals are challenging the lies that have been imposed on our continent for more than seventy years.

Young Spanish intellectuals from Devenir Europeo displayed a banner yesterday in central Madrid to celebrate Ursula Haverbeck’s 94th birthday and to inaugurate a campaign for her release and the repeal of European thought-crime laws.

PARTY NEWS: Civic nationalist Free England Party calls it a day!

The liberal, “civil nationalist” Free England Party (FEP) folded this week. We understand that their “leader” Andrew Constantine (who formed the party 3 years ago after splitting from the English Democrats) closed the party down after some members wanted to change the party into an ethnic-nationalist party. Its seems that the tiny English Independence Party were also involved in this change of policy and may have also closed down now.

Andrew Constentine, Free England PartyIn its short history the FEP never had any candidates elected nor had any local Councillors. They seemed to attack other English Nationalists in the English Democrats and England First rather more than the political liberal-left – which many found odd. Some nationalists even said than the FEP was a state-sponsored party right from the start (formed to damage the ED’s?). The FEP leadership also thought that any African, Asian or other non-Whites born in England were English!

No we are not joking, these so-called nationalists really believed that!

Anyway, the good news is that a number of former FEP members have contacted England First about coming aboard – 2 have joined already. We welcome all real English nationalists into England First, but would like to point out to all would-be England First members, that we are not civic nationalists – we are racial nationalists – and proud of it.

Bank bail-out: every family shouldering £4,350 tax liability

Every family in the country is now facing a tax liability of £4,350 to prop up Britain’s banking system.

DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4 Nov 2009: Alistair Darling yesterday unveiled the biggest bail-out of any bank in history.

The Chancellor confirmed that the Government would pump an extra £25.5 billion into Royal Bank of Scotland, declaring that this was the only way to keep it alive.

Taxpayers have now poured a total of £53.5 billion into RBS alone, including the £20 billion part-nationalisation last year and another £8 billion set aside yesterday as insurance against further trouble in the future.

In total, the Government has now pumped £74 billion of taxpayers’ money into the banks since the start of the financial crisis a year ago.

Read full article [external link]

BNP withdraws from campaigning for Glasgow North East by-election

Nick Griffin reveals he would support a referendum on Scottish independence…

THE TIMES, 29 Oct 2009: Nick Griffin, the British National Party leader, revealed during a visit to Hamilton yesterday that he would support a referendum on Scottish independence.

His comments will be regarded as an embarrassment for the SNP, who are unlikely to welcome any suggestion that their referendum plans are supported by the right-wing extremist party. The three Unionist parties at Holyrood oppose the proposals to hold a referendum next year.

Mr Griffin suffered a humiliation of his own yesterday when he was forced to withdraw from campaigning in the Glasgow North East constituency. About 40 protesters heckled the politician and threw eggs when he arrived at the headquarters of L107, a radio station based in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, leading to three arrests. A BNP spokesman later claimed Mr Griffin had been delayed by a previous meeting at a veterans’ charity in Hamilton.

Read full article [external link]

NEW CAMPAIGN: Become a signatory to The English Claim of Right

English Claim of RightThe English Claim of Right:

Both England and Scotland as part of their Acts of Union of 1707 lost their own national Parliaments and instead Westminster became, and remains home to, the Union Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The devolution legislation of Prime Minister Blair (The Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998) produced change on a massive constitutional scale, especially in Scotland. Few people in England understand the scale of that change. The Scottish Parliament and Government are now largely responsible for economic development, local government, the environment, agriculture and fisheries (with EU constraints), personal social services, education, law and order, public health, transport, housing and a good deal else besides.

One of the key developments in bringing about a national movement for better political institutional arrangements for Scotland (which led to the present Scottish Parliament) was the signing by many of the leading Scottish politicians (including Gordon Brown, Menzies “Ming” Campbell, the late Robin Cook, Alistair Darling) of The Scottish Claim of Right.

Add YOUR Name to The English Claim of Right [opens in new window]

EFP comments on the Labour Party Conference 2009

— Yesterday afternoon the delegates to the Labour Party Conference – Cabinet Ministers, MPs, Peers, Party officials and 2000 delegates from across the United Kingdom got up and clapped and shouted their approval as Gordon Brown, MP for Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath in Fifeshire in Scotland, announced measure after measure of new legislation for England, and only for England, in defiance of the very fundamentals of what the people of England founded their parliament for 800 years ago.

EFP  Comment:

“Gordon Brown announced new legislation to place new teenage mothers in hostels rather than council houses; to provide free personal care for the very elderly in their homes, to limit pub opening hours, to control broken families unable to control their children, to bring in additional controls on wild disruptive youngsters, to provide 250,000 free childcare places and to delay the introduction of ID cards. Very many people will indeed agree with these measures. These are issues that the EFP would support, but we are also concerned with democracy for England. When England – and the British Isles stops all further non-white immigration and gets its own parliament, this parliament will concern itself wholeheartedly with the welfare of the people of England – the real true people of England – white people!”

These measures concern matters which affect England only. The fundamental nature of English democracy as founded with the English Parliament in the 13th century and developed by the people of England over the past 800 years is that it is representative democracy. Law makers are accountable to the people who elect them. They are elected to be their representatives in their parliament. But Brown is not elected by any English voters. He is not accountable to any English voter for any of these specific measures. His action, and the conference applause for it, is a repudiation of this most fundamental aspect of the English democratic tradition.

NEW CAMPAIGN: Cast you vote for REAL electoral reform

Dear Nationalists,

I know you’re busy, but please spare a moment to look at this website:

It’ll only take a few minutes of your time (you only need enter your name, email and postcode), but it could be one of the most effective opportunities for us to promote an English Parliament and an end to non-white immigration. If we all remain silent, we really will deserve what we’re given.

POWER2010 has its roots in the Power Inquiry, which was established by the Rowntree Trusts in 2005 and undertook the biggest ever inquiry into the health of Britain’s democracy.

English CampaignThey want to identify five key reforms that will change the way we do politics in this country and the five most popular ideas will become the POWER2010 Pledge.

They will then ensure every candidate standing at the next election is asked to make a public commitment – a pledge – on these policies. Can you help make stopping all further non-white immigration and a referendum on an English Parliament two of them?

Many thanks,

EFP admin

“England remains little more than a centrally governed colony”

Tony Travers, LSE England First welcome this recent, though indeed very belated, recognition by Dr. Tony Travers of the London School of Economics of England’s constitutional and political situation compared to the devolved status of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dr. Travers, director of the LSE Research Centre, is the foremost English expert on local government matters, esteemed very highly and consulted constantly by Whitehall, the media and his fellow academics. His recent article ‘We must support Scotland’ (Local Government Chronicle Aug.29th ’09) which deals with the Megrahi affair, has highlighted its constitutional implications for the UK and what it means for England.

‘For the people of England,’ he writes, ‘the revelation that a Scottish politician can make such a life-and-death decision with massive international ramifications serves to point out how privileged the Scots now are within the UK’s so-called constitution. The 50 million English and their elected local institutions have nothing like the devolved power of the five million Scots, three million Welsh or one million Ulsterman. Scotland may now be a nation free to decide its own justice policy, but England remains little more than a centrally governed colony’.

It is to be welcomed that Dr Travers has now had this insight into the implications for England of the 1998 Devolution legislation. It is precisely what England First has been saying for the past 5 years. Regretably however, Dr Travers like many traditional British-minded academics still thinks of English devolution in terms of regionalism, even though the people of England’s overwhelmingly rejected the measure in the 2004 referendum. It is still their mind-set. As George Orwell noted over half a century ago there is an immense pool of English intellectuals who are strangely uncomfortable in their English skin.

The next four significant mental break-throughs for academics like Dr. Travers is first the recognition that Devolution 1998 was given to nations qua nations, as is explicit in the text of the legislation. The second is to make themselves intellectually and culturally comfortable with being English, which is what they are, just as the Scots and the Welsh are comfortable with their national identity. Over 60 years ago George Orwell wrote about the strange phenomenon of an immense pool of English intellectuals who feel uncomfortable in their English skin. The third is to recognise that England cannot be balkanised without immense damage and divisiveness. As Will Hutton wrote in 2001 ‘regional assemblies will a veritable witches’ brew of internecine rivalries’. The fourth is an open mind to the introduction of a new Union in which the three historic nations of this island will stand in the same relationship to the UK government and to each other’.

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